Betting tips for NBA playoffs: 76ers-Heat, Mavericks-Suns Game 5s

Jimmy Butler has taken over as the primary scorer for the Heat, and might have a big game at home in Game 5. Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

All odds are provided by Caesars Sportsbook.

What you need to know for Tuesday's playoff games

Harden Repeat? James Harden had a vintage performance in Game 4, but I'd be careful in expecting him to do the same in Game 5. His scoring dips to 3.6% when he does not shoot at least 55% of his shots from 3-point range. While it looks like the 3-point shooting role is here to stay, since the return of Joel Embiid, 58.6% of his shots in this series have been 3s. Harden may continue to cash in beyond the arc, but with this role comes extreme variance due to 3-point accuracy and the potential for a low FTA game, especially on a team that wants to play slow.

Jimmy Gets Buckets (and steals): Jimmy Butler averaged 18.5 points and served as an efficient distributor in Miami's first two wins against the 76ers. However, Butler was tasked with being the Heat's primary scorer on the road, posting 73 points with a 32.2% usage rate -- well above his regular-season clip of 26.5%. With Kyle Lowry ailing and the 76ers focused on closing out on Miami's shooters, Butler could again be busy, vaulting his DFS ceiling. Butler's points (25.5) and steals (1.5) prop appears intriguing for Tuesday's game. He has registered multiple steals in each playoff game and leads the league in postseason steal percentage.

Point God: Sunday was ugly if you invested in Chris Paul. But it is fair to say that Game 4 was the exception to the rule. The Suns had one lead change the entire game, Paul was stuck in foul trouble, and the Mavericks were scorching hot from downtown. All three of those things are unlikely to occur in Game 5 as Phoenix returns home to Footprint Center and is favored to win. Paul has averaged 26.7 PPG in the Suns' wins this postseason.

Stock Watch: Mikal Bridges has recorded at least one steal in all but one of the Phoenix's 10 playoff games. He has tallied at least two combined steals and blocks in eight of the past 10 games. Bridges is slated for heavy minutes and key assignments on defense tonight, making him a good option to exceed his steal + block prop (1.5). Paul is also in a strong position to hit his defensive props. He has an elite 2.2% steal percentage this postseason, the highest since 2018-19.

-- Jim McCormick & Kyle Soppe

Breaking down Tuesday's games

Philadelphia 76ers at Miami Heat
7:30 p.m ET, FTX Arena, Miami

Line: Heat (-3)
Money line: Heat (-140), 76ers (+120)
Total: 209.5 points
BPI Projected Total: 211.7 points
BPI Win%: Heat (68.3%)

Questionable: Joel Embiid (orbital/thumb), Tyler Herro (ankle), Max Strus (hamstring), P.J. Tucker (knee), Dewayne Dedmon (non-COVID illness)

Ruled Out: None
Note: BPI numbers factored in players who are ruled out but assumes questionable players will play

Notable: Rooting for points? Back the Heat. Miami is 29-20-1 ATS this season when the total goes over the projection, a reasonable edge over Philadelphia (21-20-2 in such spots).

Best bet: Tobias Harris over 14.5 points. Harris has held down the 76ers' scoring efforts for the past two games while Joel Embiid worked his way back into the mix. James Harden channeled 2017 in Game 4, but that shouldn't overshadow Harris' outstanding run this postseason. He has averaged 19.4 PPG on 53.6 FG% and 41.0 3P% through the first eight games of the playoffs. He has scored more than 14.5 points in seven of the past eight games, including the first two games of the series in Miami. Harris should have a bounce-back game on Tuesday. -- Andre Snellings

Best bet: Bam Adebayo over 25.5 points + rebounds. Adebayo scored 21 points and grabbed seven rebounds in Game 4, but was forced to sit after committing his fourth foul in the third quarter. Adebayo has averaged 15.4 PPG and 8.0 RPG this postseason and if the Heat want to win this series they will need more from him. -- Eric Moody

Best bet: Jimmy Butler over 38.5 points + assists + rebounds. Butler has scored 30 or more points in consecutive games during the playoffs for the first time in his career. Butler and Adebayo combined to score 34 of the Heat's 52 points in the second half of Game 4 He continues to be a key player for the Heat and has averaged 26 PPG, 6.0 APG, and 6.5 RPG at home during the playoffs. -- Moody

Best bet: Joel Embiid over 36.5 points + rebounds. Getting snubbed for the MVP on Monday may motivate Embiid to deliver an epic performance. He has averaged 24.9 PPG and 11.3 RPG this postseason and his success should continue. -- Moody

Best bet: Jimmy Butler over 25.5 points. Butler has been particularly locked in against his former team as of late, scoring 73 points in only 42 field goal attempts in the past two games. Butler has embraced the lead scoring role for the Heat and the 76ers don't have an answer for him on defense. Butler should have another big game. -- Snellings

Best bet: Jimmy Butler over 25.5 points. Even though the Heat lost Games 3 and 4 in Philly, do not blame Butler. Jimmy was out there gettin' buckets. He scored 33 points in Game 3 and backed that up with 40 points in Game 4. He shot 59.5% from the floor in those two games and made 20-of-23 free-throw attempts. I fully expect Butler to be aggressive in Game 5 against his old pals from Philly -- Tyler Fulghum

Best bet: James Harden under 36.5 points + assists + rebounds. While Harden had a vintage box score in Game 4, I'm not ready to buy in. He was white-hot in the fourth quarter and made 6-of-10 3-point attempts. I expect some major shooting regression as the series shifts back to Miami. Getting Embiid back is certainly making life easier for Harden. Outside of Game 4, Harden has averaged 17.7 PPG, 7.0 RPG, and 6.7 APG. If he regresses closer to those averages for Game 4, this number is just a bit too high. -- Fulghum

Dallas Mavericks at Phoenix Suns
10:00 p.m ET, Footprint Center, Phoenix

Line: Suns (-6)
Money line: Suns (-240), Mavericks (+200)
Total: 213 points
BPI Projected Total: 215 points
BPI Win%: Suns (69.8%)

Questionable: None

Ruled Out: None
Note: BPI numbers factored in players who are ruled out but assumes questionable players will play

Notable: The Mavericks have seen seven of their past nine road games go over the total. That includes each of their two games in Phoenix this postseason, where there have been 473 points scored.

Best bet: Best bet: Chris Paul over 24.5 combined points and assists

With the series back in Phoenix tied at 2-2, I fully expect Paul to have a signature performance. He averaged 23.5 PPG and 5.5 RPG, the past two times he faced the Mavericks at home. -- Snellings

Best bet: Deandre Ayton over 28.5 points + rebounds. We need to see more of Ayton. Although he put up a combined 47 points in Games 1 and 2, he has only averaged 16.0 PPG and 8.3 RPG in this series. The Suns would be wise to feature Ayton in their offense at home to help regain control of the series. -- Moody

Best bet: Over 213 total points. Both the Suns and Mavericks scored plenty of points in Phoenix. They scored 235 combined points in Game 1 and 238 combined points in Game 2. The Suns have averaged 117.2 points at home and the Mavericks averaged 109.2 points away. Bet on the over here. -- Moody